A Closer Look at Oranges from Botanical Sources

Orange is an enthusiastic, uplifting, high-energy color, and it can bring to life flavors from savory to sweet. Whether you’re working on a spicy snack seasoning, a sweet citrus beverage, or even a nutrient-dense pet kibble, chances are you’re looking for an orange hue to bring it to life. While bold oranges can be achieved using blends of natural reds and yellows, often our customers are seeking the most efficient and turnkey color solution for a specific project. Check out these orange color solutions based on single botanical components, along with tips and tricks for using each one efficiently:


Annatto is a versatile color solution within the orange family, with good heat and light stability. Sensient offers this colorant as both a water- and oil-soluble solution, making it a popular choice across applications. We also have an acid-proof option, which is popular in lower pH systems like beverages. Sensient’s focus on robust supply chain security for this botanical and others ensures that we are involved from seed to shelf, optimizing cost for our customers each step of the way to finished goods.


Paprika is a heat-stable solution well-recognized by consumers on an ingredient list. Naturally oil-soluble, it thrives in low-water applications. The powder version also performs extremely well in dry seasoning applications. We also know how important food safety is to our customers. Our Certasure™ program protects our paprika solutions from risks like pesticides so that brands can be confident in the food safety standards of their color ingredients.

Pure S Paprika

Pure-S™ Paprika is a gentle purification technology that reduces or eliminates flavor off-notes in applications like beverages, frozen novelties, and dairy products. As a spice, paprika is both boldly colored and boldly flavored in its natural state, so the Pure-S™ technology is used to ensure that developers can leverage the rich orange hues to replace Yellow 6 without a flavor impact.


Beta-carotene solutions can be both natural and nature-identical, offering a wide range of orange hues to developers across applications. These colors are preferred for their excellent stability and wide color variety, from warm peachy oranges to yellow-orange shades. Beta-carotenes are also available in the red and yellow family for even more options.


Sensient’s Advanced Emulsion Technology (AET™) offers developers both clear and cloudy beta-carotene-based solutions for orange hues with reduced cap staining and ringing. Because beta-carotenes are naturally oil-soluble, an emulsion is necessary to use this versatile color source in water-based applications. They typically work well in applications like beverages, confections, dairy products, and pet food.


Carrot offers an easily recognizable clean-label solution for orange hues that will appeal to natural-ingredient-seeking consumers. For developers working with beverages that benefit from a visual cloud, carrot juice is a smart choice. Its broad stability makes it popular across all applications.


Lycopene has excellent heat, water, acid, and light stability, making it a flexible choice for orange shades across applications. While it presents in the red and pink family for beverage and dairy applications, this colorant offers orange hues across baking, processed, confectionery, and pet products.


Pumpkin is label-friendly and has good stability across applications. While pumpkin is one of the most popular orange vegetables on its own, especially in the fall, once extracted this color isn’t as strong as many alternatives.


Lutein and Saffron are among several additional orange options for developers outside the United States, but the FDA has not approved these sources for use in food, beverage, and pet applications.


Microfine™ is an advanced technology that offers formulators both powder and dispersion solutions for orange hues, regardless of the botanical source’s inherent solubility. A favorite for those working with compound coatings, yogurt coatings, seasonings, or powdered beverages, it delivers bright, intense shades across the rainbow—including bold oranges—with plating-grade characteristics as well as improved incorporation in fat-based systems. For those seeking extra-clean-label formulation, Sensient also offers the Simplifine™ line, which creates the same benefits without maltodextrin or preservatives.

But how do you know when to use each of these solutions? Reach out to our team of color experts to get started. We’re here to help, answer questions, and guide you on your way to unleashing nature’s rainbow in your next orange project!

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